Ever wondered how Watson is always so perfectly coiffed? Read on for all our grooming tips & tricks!
I was so excited when DailyBarker reached out to do a piece on Watson’s grooming routine. It’s something we worked 3 years to get down pat!
One of the most interesting things about dogs is how unique each one is, but that made it so Watson’s mix of breed didn’t react to the same things I’d read Bichons and Malteses would. I worked with my vet and groomer (shout out to Healthy Spot!) to find the right food and habits that worked for Watson.
Read on to see what works for us, to keep Watson’s floof the floofiest!
Here’s a rundown of the products we use:
- Watson is brushed with this comb! A comb works for Watson’s Bichon-Maltese mix hair, but I recommend chatting with your groomer about what works best for your pooch!
- We swear by Earth Bath Wipes for wiping Watson’s paws. Los Angeles streets are dirtyyyy and we have a light gray couch—so these wipes are used basically daily in our house! I’ll use them to remove eye gunk as well (they have eye-specific ones if you need).
- For at home baths, we are longtime users of Blueberry Facial Shampoo! It really brightens up the whiteness in Watson’s fur, especially around the eyes. Night and day difference!
- When it’s raining, we swear by the Dexas Mudbuster. This thing is GENIUS. You put a little bit of clean water in the bottom, and one at a time you dip your dog’s paws into the Mudbuster. Just keep a towel by you to towel off the feet after!
STEP 1: PROACTIVE MEASURES
Before the dreaded shaving incident of 2013 (see below), I didn’t really keep up with Watson’s grooming outside of taking him to the groomer’s every 6 weeks. This was okay if Watson wasn’t really active, but weeks when he went to daycare or the dog park he would get really matted. He’s got a very full life, so I learned more proactive measures are necessary.
What I mean by that is being consistent. Watson is brushed every day, which may seem excessive, but it means each daily brushing is shorter and less painful than a big one would be. Plus consistency and routine make dogs happy! While Watson does not like to be brushed, he really doesn’t hate it and rarely fights against me, because he’s used to it (and knows treats are coming! 😉 )
STEP 2: FUR/HAIR BRUSHING
Watson is brushed with this comb every single morning. Sometimes even in the evening, as well!
I start with the back and hind legs (easiest and least painful) then flip him over onto his belly to get his armpits and front legs. Next I brush his hair from neck to top of head and both ears towards his tail, then I do the same pattern but brushing toward myself. Last but not least, one quick pass at the tail and an Earth Bath Wipe under the eyes and on the paws.
Treats, positive affirmations, and belly rubs are applied liberally! 😉
STEP 3: TEETH BRUSHING
Not fun, but very important topic!
Every morning after step 2, Watson gets an Indigenous dental bone (well half of one since he’s small). He likes bacon flavor! These are basically organic greenies that are easier to break down so your dog won’t choke on the bone.
Then once a week* (*ish—it’s hard, okay!!) I brush Watson’s teeth with actual toothpaste. We got this brand from our vet. Watson prefers my fingers rather than a brush, but I’m sure a brush would do a better job. It’s better for me to retain my fingers though, haha!
STEP 4: WEEKLY BATHS
The most time consuming part of Watson’s routine are his weekly baths. Watson looks so scraggly and light gray by the end of the week that this is necessary! He lives a full and happy life, hehe.
We use the Blueberry Facial Shampoo (also listed above) at home in the tub with lukewarm water. After the shampoo has been massaged in and washed out, I take him out for a towel dry (aka, he rubs his body all over a bunch of towels for 10 minutes).
Then I use my regular blowdryer to dry him on low heat and medium level of air pressure, brushing while blowing where I can (yes he literally gets a blowout). I take frequent breaks for treats, belly rubs, and some cool air. I wish I had a blowdryer stand, because he gets especially squirmy during the paws and head. From start to finish, this process takes me 30 minutes.
STEP 5: MONTHLY HEALTHY SPOT GROOM SESSIONS
Last but not least, the professionals come in.
Once a month, I go to Healthy Spot Marina del Rey for Watson’s grooming session. If you prebook a month in advance you get $5 off ;). We swear by Michael and Marisol, and Jordan who has since moved to the Playa Vista location! Everyone is great though.
During the winter months I rotate between hair cut vs. just bath every other month, and in the summer he gets a cut every month. I add on teeth brushing as well (for you know, when I forget! 😉 )
We request a traditional bichon haircut without the “crest”—that’s the puffy neck part. My dear friend Bowie rocks it.
BONUS: WHEN IT RAINS
The Dexas Mudbuster product came to us by pure happenstance: we won a contest by our dear friend @darling_clem entering and winning for the BOTH of us. I could not be happier about this situation, though!
We keep it by the door when it rains with a towel, so before Watson even sets foot in the house, his paws are being washed. Can’t recommend this product enough!
What’s your grooming routine? Comment below!!
We’re Watson & Michelle: BFFs from Venice Beach, taking on the world’s best dog-friendly spots one mural at a time. Watson is a bichon-maltese mix who loves bad pickup lines, fart jokes, twinning with walls & La Croix. He’s AKC Canine Good Citizen certified. Michelle is a Digital Producer and Content Creator, leading the charge at enso collaborative toward positive scalable impact in the world using technology and art.